Showing posts from April, 2009

final draft = (first draft) - (your life)

Now and then, THE INTERN stumbles across a book proposal that makes THE INTERN think to herself, "Wow, this sounds like it would make a dandy book! This writer has a great idea!" Rapt with anticipation, THE INTERN tears into the sample chapters, only to discover that instead of writing about her great idea, the writer has spent three chapters WRITING ABOUT HERSELF.


Why do people have great ideas, and then write about themselves instead of the idea? What makes people think that they are more interesting than their idea? Unless you're some kind of god, I can think of about a million things I'd find more interesting to read about than your life. And I hope to God you feel the same way about me.

An example:

This guy, let's call him "Joe Catchmitt," has an idea for a book about unexplained phenomena among zoo animals. His proposal has it all: style, flair, convincing-ness. The proposal is all about his idea: supernatural zoo animals. THE…

acquisitions, schmacquisitions

Hot tip: The "acquisitions editor" whose name you found in Writer's Marketdoesn't exist. She ain't real. Think you're coming off professional by addressing your submission to the proper editor—the editor you've never corresponded with, spoken to, or even found mention of on google? Put down your crack pipe: there's no such donkey as "Ethel Largetits, Acquisitions Editor" (or "Barry Bigschlong" or "Annette Sexton"). Publishers frequently make up a fake "acquisitions editor" so they can tell which submissions are solicited or come from informed sources and which are coming from people who've found them in Writer's Market. When a manuscript comes in addressed to Ms. Largetits, it's an instant tip-off that whoever sent it is not in the know. Bing! Into the slush pile, where your intrepid unpaid intern (aka "Ethel Largetits") will skim it, send you a signed rejection letter ("since…